We meet him.
The "perfect" match, right?
The quick and dizzying courtship ensues and before you know it… you're talking rings, dates and vows. Before long he's saying "Let's move in together", "You're the one"… and worst of all… "You're my soul mate."
In hindsight we realize there is no such thing as soul mates, that there are many fish in the sea and a number of them might be well suited matches… some better than others obviously but no "perfect" one.
In hindsight we realize that slow isn't a bad thing. That letting things progress naturally is best and that anyone who is trying to hurry things faster than they play out has secret motives and we should run.
In hindsight we realize that moving in together isn't wise because then it makes it that much more difficult to back out of a relationship when we've seen possible red flags there may be trouble ahead.
But with a narcissistic sociopath these lessons in love are learned often on the back end of a relationship … after much damage has occurred and sadly perhaps even to our children.
Maybe you saw red flags that he wasn't healthy for you but you dismissed them. Maybe you thought you were overreacting or second guessed yourself… maybe you wanted it to work so so badly that you admittedly later see that you contributed to the facade that it was good in your desperate denial of any toxicity.
5 Things A Narcissistic Sociopath Does In A Relationship:
Your opinion doesn't matter. He/she doesn't care what you think. Each time you express yourself; what you think, he/she will shoot it down as displeasing. They always believe they are right and will make all the decisions on where to live, how to manage and spend finances, your sex life and parenting. No matter how much you try you can never please them as their expectations are so incredibly high you can never meet them.
2. One-sided communication.
He/she will not be able to effectively communicate with you. He/she will use tactics of callous arrogance, intimidation, stone-walling and silent treatment instead.
He/she will objectify you sexually not value you as a person. You could be anyone… you're a non-person, a useful tool to satisfy their every whim and desire.
A narcissistic sociopath will cheat and lie pathologically about it. He/she will expect you to "just get over it"… a common phrase narcs use to gloss over much of their immoral behavior. In fact, a narc will believe that their spouse "drove them to cheat"; if you hadn't been "this way or done that" they think: "I wouldn't have had to cheat on you. This is your fault." They take zero responsibility for their poor actions.
a. The sex is always one-sided. He/she ensures their needs are met but offers no reciprocal satisfaction to their partner. They always expect it when they want it and it's so often (to the extreme) the other partner isn't even given the opportunity to initiate.
b. The sex involves manipulation. He/she tries to discern how far they can make their partner go and compromise on what they feel comfortable with.
He/she is a taker and more than likely you're a co-dependent and/or highly empathetic individual who has confused love and sacrifice to an unhealthy extreme. You may tend to put the success of the relationship ahead of your own needs becoming less and less satisfied because you're giving so much and receiving little to nothing back. Co-dependents are often the product of one or two parents who were narcissistic… they are merely living out what they've known their entire childhood; desperately seeking love and on some level they question if they are capable of ever finding someone healthy who will love them. The best thing to do is go no contact with a narcissistic sociopath and enter therapy to begin learning healthier ways to relate to others especially in regards to romantic relationships.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2015
From the moment they are conceived we as parents have so much hope for them.
We hope for a smooth birth, on-target developmental milestones, a childhood of sweet memories, a solid education, a relationship with Christ, a circle of loving folks who care about them… people who have their best interests who pray for and help guide them to adulthood.
Then one day they meet a man…
and they get engaged to soon marry.
We, along with our daughter, may fall into the woozy trap of pre-wedding bliss… becoming wrapped up in the dizzying spin of wedding plans… bridal registry, gifts, dresses, color schemes, venues, cakes and vows… we become all-consumed with helping to choose the right invites, the most flattering photographer and the best honeymoon destination.
As parents we are there, side by side… helping, guiding and giving input, albeit perhaps not always wanted… we are fluttering about, worrying about details that perhaps are not really truly important at the end of the day but that seem so then.
But in all those moments… in all those whirlwind days of shopping, of ohhh's and awe's… there were without a doubt a moment or two that brought tears to your eyes… a moment or two that pulled your heartstrings… that made you think to yourself: I want to freeze time; this moment with her.
And then, it's gone. Just like that.
But there is one moment as a parent you really need to have with your daughter.
Before you proceed to walk her down the aisle on that save the date…
Before you clasp her sweet hand in yours and lean in to whisper "I love you"…
Before you nod to the groom and peck her blushed cheek as you give her away…
Please take a moment… take one moment to tell your daughter this:
"You're always welcome back home."
Granted, you may like the man she's marrying… you may steadfastly believe that she's about to become one with an honorable, kind, trustworthy and faithful man. You may hold him in high esteem and already consider him to be like a son to you. You may have already seen him handle difficulties with your daughter with grace, understanding and love. You may have already seen him as a mixture of strength and sweetness when your daughter has admittedly been less than lovely. You may have already witnessed his ability to admit he was wrong in a humble manner. You may have complete faith that this couple is fully capable of putting Christ first and keeping their covenant sacred above all other relationships. You may with complete certainty believe he loves her without a doubt… with his whole heart and would without question lay down his own life in any situation for your daughter.
BUT… WHAT IF YOU'RE WRONG?
What if he's not who you think he is?
What if he's not truly who he's portrayed himself as?
What if he is not anything like what you believe him to be?
All fathers… all parents need to have an all important conversation with their daughter when they marry… that in the event this man is not who he has claimed to be… that if indeed this man turns out to be a walking nightmare… if his mask falls bit by bit after the wedding day… or even years down the road… she needs to be told in no uncertain words she is always welcome back home.
She needs to be told she does not have to take abuse.
She needs to be told she doesn't have to "suck it up and keep trying."
She needs to be told she doesn't have to worry you won't want her back.
She needs to be told that cheating doesn't have to be
"tolerated" and swept under the rug.
She needs to be told she doesn't have to be concerned with such frivolous things like how she and two children would merge back into your home…
even if only for an interim because they are ALWAYS welcome.
She needs to be told that you will not be angry with her.
She needs to be told "It will be okay and we will figure it out."
She needs to be told that you will be there for her. Always. Any time day or night.
She needs to be told that it is okay to say "I made a mistake. I'm coming home."
One day you will "give away" your little girl… you will hand over your leadership, your protection, your financial providing... to her soon to be husband… entrusting he will step up to the plate and handle his responsibilities well.
Hopefully as your daughter's primary male role model, as her father, you have taught her that ultimately she is God's daughter; that she is worthy of being loved and loved well… that she is loved by Christ who died for her on the cross… that she has a Savior who adores her and in turn she has sought a man who reflects love.
But if for whatever reason her happily ever after ends up becoming the worst nightmare ever…
Let her know she is always welcome back home.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2015
5 Tips For Father's:
1. It's so important that fathers have developed an intentional disciple-type relationship with whom their daughter is planning to marry. You have an awesome opportunity to help guide this man spiritually and model being a good husband for him through your own actions.
2. Don't wait for your daughter's boyfriend to come to you asking for her hand in marriage… be proactive. Ask him what his intentions are; show him you take an active role in her life, not a passive one.
3. Today, we have so many jokes (at least in the South) about dad's being trigger happy regarding their daughters and whom their dating. But the truth is… above all father's need to have discernment; is the guy she's dating a genuinely good guy at heart, a believer, just spiritually still immature? There's a difference between that guy and a sociopath… it's essential for you to figure out which one he is.
4. Being honest with him in your conversations helps him see how you've grown in your role as husband and father. Admit to any stumbles you've had along the way and how your perspective has changed… being an emotionally and spiritually healthy man doesn't equate to never admitting faults.
5. Set expectations for how you believe she should be treated. Let him know in no uncertain terms that abuse at any time, in any way, shape, or form is not to be accepted… and that no matter how much you like someone she marries… if that happens your door is wide open for her to return at any time.
As I sit here and type my daughter sleeps soundly beside me… stuffed animals and a cherished Madame Alexander baby doll are tucked in amongst us. Each week she gets to pick a night to crash in my room and naturally also an entourage of bears, hello kitties, even an alligator arrives along with storybooks and giggles. Twinkle lights above give off a soft glow and the light from the laptop shines like a beacon in the dark room after she's fallen asleep. As parents we wish for sweet dreams for our children, for good rest, for mornings filled with smiles and the pattering of small feet ready to start the day and eat a healthy breakfast. We pray for God's word to guide them in all they do, we pray for their protection, we focus on their education and even contemplate their future one day… we take into account every talk we need to have, we model good choices and scrutinize how we can improve… we talk to God, our mother, our sister, our friends, our pastor for feedback on raising these precious children who will one day be adults. Essentially we try to do everything we can to ensure that our children will be fully prepared with wisdom and discernment to be Godly adults in a responsible manner… in regards to their future relationships, their career, even their health and safety but unfortunately, try as we might, that doesn't always pan out either due to poor choices in our parenting and or unfortunate sins chosen by our children.
Children become teens and then young adults and unfortunately just because someone turns twenty, twenty-one or even twenty-two, etc does not equate to them being ready for the adult world. As parents, we may cringe at the choices they make… they are so excited to finally (!) be making choices of their own that they are perhaps making them without thinking through the possible consequences.
As a teen I was so ready to get out of my parents house (truth be told I wasn't the only one) I made unwise choices… sometimes we want to escape a dark place so badly (which in some cases may be justified or not) that we trade one harmful environment for another… seemingly innocent at first; but then weeks, months, even years down the road we realize we are up a creek and don't have a paddle. We may realize we shoulda just stayed where we were and hung in a little longer. Fast forward down the road the situation is so far gone we may have no idea how to escape the whole new hell were in and we long for the days of back when… if only we could begin again and not have chosen the path we took.
Dear Prodigal Daughter:
It's always the same story it seems… my parents don't understand me. My parents don't listen. My parents are uncool and don't get it. My parents think I make bad decisions. My parents think I'm rebellious. My parents think I'm bad. My parents think I'm a troublemaker.
You're right… you're not bad, you're not a troublemaker, probably not even rebellious. But maybe you're idealistic, maybe you're naive, maybe immature, maybe, just maybe despite your good intentions there is a possibility that you're just plain wrong. Or maybe even worse, your parent(s) is/are abusive and you're ready to escape no matter what the alternative environment might be.
You say you love him, this guy you're with. You've committed yourself to him and the relationship. You move in together. You tell everyone how wonderful he is. You coo and oooo over how cute he is, how cool he is… how he's the mac to your cheese… to the outsiders that you share limited information about the relationship with he seems like a dream come true. On social media it's all gloss, sunshine and ponies who poop confetti… you and your guy are the epitome of the perfect couple… photo after photo ensue and the upbeat comments posted only serve to validate it all.
But behind closed doors is another story… behind closed doors is the truth. Behind closed doors is the stinking decay of what is to come however much we don't want to acknowledge it… a future that lacks peace, love and beauty but instead a future that will bear struggle, division and resentment… ultimately regret.
But maybe you don't believe me.
Perhaps you have one car you must share… and typically you're left without a ride. Maybe you don't have a job because he hasn't allowed you to get one… isn't it just too sweet how he's "taking care of you" like that? Uh huh. Maybe you're both working overtime to pay off all his debts… wait, why are you paying on his debt? Shouldn't he step up and handle that himself? Or perhaps you're the one with the job… and working your tail off to support the two of you… while he… wait, what does he do, again? Oh, yeah… nothing. He does nothing. Or maybe he is busy… with the remote, with a six pack of beer, or sniffing something up his nose… or maybe he's busy in the bedroom with another chick while you bust your butt all day making minimum wage. Minimum wage? Yeah… because didn't he decide that there wasn't enough money for you to finish school? Or maybe you decided out of the goodness of your little ole heart to put your dreams and education on the back burner… how noble… while he did whatever he wished. What you may not realize yet is that there will never be a better time for you to finish that education… the best time is now not later. What you may not realize is that any man who sits on his rear while you go earn the money and fry the bacon too is not a man. A guy who allows you to sacrifice your goals and dreams so he can get ahead in life is not partnership material. The man who tries to control whether you work, who you see, how you spend your time is not a man for you.
You're what? You're pregnant, you say? Oh, let me guess… he lied and said he couldn't have kids… (I've heard about every story out there) or he hid your birth control, or maybe you now realize birth control is not 100% effective (yikes) as you originally believed. Maybe guilt eats at you day and night and you regret the act(s) you participated in and wish more than anything you could have that re-do. But now he wants you to get an abortion? Let's ponder this… Is he going to pick and choose which children you keep if you get married one day? Are ya'll gonna draw straws or what? If he's not utilizing self control regarding sex with you now, what makes you believe he can once you're married one day? How can you trust he won't have a "slip up"; a hot and heavy false step with another woman? The truth is… you can't. Can people change? Yes, without a doubt with spiritual growth not another human... So do you want to bet your future on him being capable of changing?
Maybe he wants you to keep the baby. Now he's talking marriage, "I do's" and rings… slipping a ring, er, bandaid on the situation isn't going to fix it… the truth is… getting hitched doesn't make having a baby out of wedlock like it didn't happen… why put a child through the inevitable reality of a likely divorce down the road? There is the chance he will feel trapped one day; that you got pregnant on purpose to get a proposal… there is a chance you might always wonder who else you could have married if it hadn't been for "sucking it up and trying to make it work" because you're now carrying a tiny human that brings you together forever… adding the pressures of marriage on top of a child's arrival in nine months? Perhaps the best thing to do is co-parent to the best of your ability and do a "wait and see"… if it works out, great… if not, move on.
I've been there in several of these scenarios.
The truth is… these scenarios are amongst many many others women find themselves in everyday… and the phrase "find themselves in" is not to be taken as not taking responsibility for the choices one made but to point out the fact that many times what we do truly believe to be good-intentioned, sound decisions at one point we later find ourselves (sometimes years later) shaking our heads in astonishment and sorrow that we could have ever EVER at one time believed we were making good choices. We now look back with complete disbelief and a desire to slap ourselves upside the face (!) wondering what on earth we were thinking… for now the reality of our past poor decisions sit squarely before us with stark clarity.
So why didn't we just tell the guy: "Look, if you don't get your you-know-what-together" I'm outta here!… or "If you don't start treating me the way I should be treated" peace out! Why don't we speak up? Why don't we just tell him if he doesn't start doing x,y,z were outta there and were hiking it home to mama and/or daddy?
Likely it goes back to pride.
Your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God. Deuteronomy 8:14
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. James 4:10 (NLT)
If we do see an issue and yet waffle with leaving it's usually due to how we will be perceived once home. Will we be told: "I told you so!" when we return by our family? Will we be sneered at and made fun of? Will we be put down and berated for "being such an idiot"? Will we be met with tension, friction and judgment instead of joy, mercy and grace?
Will we return home to open arms? To thankful smiles and tight-as-you-can-squeeze hugs? Will there be anger and resentment or warmth and forgiveness? Will there be affirmation we are important and mean something to them or will we be met with hostility and reproach? Will we be trusted and shown love or will we be treated like a prisoner and dished out hate?
Sometimes we fear returning and admitting we were wrong.
Sometimes we fear returning and facing the people we left behind.
Sometimes we fear returning and dealing with whatever reaction is waiting for us.
Like the prodigal son in the bible who returns we may wonder if we will be met with open arms, warmth, love and forgiveness… or detachment, coldness, resentment and wrath.
Your earthly father may hug you but have a grudge in his heart.
Your earthly father may never look at you with love again.
Your earthly father may not let you return.
Our sins in life against others are ultimately also sins against Christ.
When were young we want more than anything to be free.
To make our own decisions.
To make our own way.
To live our life.
But the further we stray from home, from our Father, the worse off we will be.
The great news is:
Christ won't turn His back on you.
Our Father In Heaven is ready to recover the lost.
No matter what your earthly father says or does take heart in knowing that Christ died for you… you're His beloved daughter and no matter how far away you run, who you're with, how badly you've stumbled… Christ is there to love you and welcome you with open arms.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 201